Ovum: Operators need more than network policy control to drive mobile data profits

If mobile operators are to manage growing data traffic loads, drive profits and personalize customer experiences, they need to combine customer data with network policy management and control, says a new report from Ovum.

"The phenomenal growth in 3G-enabled devices and smartphones has seen mobile broadband data volumes soar, and penetration is only set to increase. This is putting intense pressure on limited network capacity and spectrum, and profits are not keeping pace with traffic volumes," said Clare McCarthy, Ovum principal analyst and author of the report. "By expanding policy management and controls, operators can develop smarter charging plans that will provide them with a sustainable revenue stream, improved customer service and the ability to shape traffic on their mobile broadband networks."

Ovum's own forecasts indicate mobile broadband users are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent by 2015. And McCarthy warned that although some mobile operators have already adopted methods of coping with heavy data traffic, such as discounted evening and weekend use or monthly data caps, their approaches don't go far enough, and they won't maximize revenue potential with high-value customers, she said.

"Segmented data plans are one way of increasing revenues, and they can also help deliver a better customer experience. For example, an enterprise is more likely than a family to pay for guaranteed bandwidth, priority service availability and predefined access controls," she said. Mobile operators "can also encourage spend in the consumer sector by promoting 'bite size' access to specific applications, which can work well in emerging markets. If an MNO (mobile network operator) offers access to social networking services during a defined period at a lower cost, it can make its service more affordable and attractive to users, move traffic to off-peak periods and increase quality of service and customer experience across its operation."

For more:
- see this Cellular-News article

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